The 26 eclectic-genre short stories for my #AtoZChallenge are excerpts from travelogue notes by
novel character Gahlen, who first appeared in SHARDS OF MEMORY – Oral History in a Heartbeat.
Each A-to-Z daily post is a complete, stand-alone tale.
Genre: Historical Non-Fiction
Born to a highly respected Potawatomi chief, she was considered an excellent mate for a younger chief. That she had sisters who were also of marriageable age added to her attraction. Soon she and one of her younger sisters were the first of the chief’s brides.
She gave birth to the first of his offspring, a boy and two girls, before her sister began to reproduce. That allowed her to have the most say in events that accepted a woman’s participation. In 1826, her final decision as his wife was to refuse to burden him with her continued presence when the threat of annihilation swept the plains of Wisconsin.
The old woman turned to her young companion. “That squaw saved our people by risking her own life to warn us of a dangerous storm brewing.”
As the girl gazed toward the clouds, the woman smiled.
“Not a rain storm,” she said. “Many government officials want to disband our nation. They are spreading untruths about an uprising among the different tribes. If they convince the white population that we are dangerous to their existence, the true uprising will be against our people.”
“Is that why grandfather is taking all of our fathers and brothers away?” the girl asked.
“Yes. It is no longer safe for them to remain in open areas where the government is stirring up trouble. They must band together in smaller units to ward off devastating attacks from enemies unknown.”
“But when will they return for us, grandmother?”
“Oh, dear child, I fear we must expect to live out our lives away from the sheltering shadow of our great chief. He cannot preserve our heritage while burdened with worries over the likes of us.”
“Are we not as important to him as all the others?”
“Quite the opposite. We are far more important to him because he trusts that we will survive without his constant surveillance. Our inner strength is, in fact, his salvation.”